Once we decided to adopt, we started brainstorming fundraiser ideas. I love a good yard sale, so knew that this was one fundraiser to plan. A successful yard sale is TONS of work, but it was worth it. We had two yard sales and made almost $4,000 all together!
1. Ask for Help
Ask for help from family or friends for everything. Ask for help getting donations, collecting donations, pricing items, setting up…everything you have to do, ask for help! The more help you have, the more you will be able to do. Everyone can do something, even if it’s just sharing your flyer online.
2. Plan Multiple Sales
Have two different sales or multiple day sales. We had one sale at the beginning of August and another at the end of September. We were able to save items from the August sale and use them again. I have also heard of people having success with a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday sale in one weekend.
3. Ask For Donations
Start asking for donations at least a month in advance. We made a flyer and shared it on social media to ask for donations before we even advertised the sale.
Offer to pick up donations. My husband spent an entire Saturday going around town and picking up items. We found that people were more likely to donate if they didn’t have to bring it to us.
4. Advertise EVERYWHERE
Start advertising about a week before the sale. We posted on Craigslist, Nextdoor, and Yardsale.com. Also, we put up signs around town and in a few small businesses that let us advertise on their community boards.
5. Have Everything Well Organize
Organizing all of your items into categories helps finding things much easier. If you have someone hunting for video games, you will know where they should look. Use categories such as home decor, kitchen, clothes, baby, kids toys, games, books, and movies. At one of our sales, we even made signs and put them on the ground for each category. Then, when people helped us put items out, everything had a place.
6. Price Your Items
Price your items at about half of retail price or less depending on the condition. While I was looking up yard sale tips, some people suggested not pricing items and asking for donations. I think this depends on the area in which you are having the sale. For us, it worked much better to price the items. Even knowing it was a fundraiser, many people still tried to barter. Based on yard sales we have had in the past, it was worth the time it took to price the items.
Tip for Pricing
Instead of pricing every single item, sort things into groups or baskets. Then label the basket or make a sign. We had a basket full of stuffed animals, and just put a $1 each sign on the basket.
7. Sell Baked Goods
If you our someone you know loves to bake, make some cookies, brownies, or a few cakes to sell. A friend of ours made cakes and sold them for $25 each and sold out! You could also offer coffee or water for sale to bring in a few extra dollars.
8. Take Credit Cards
Signing up for a Square card reader for your phone is so easy and may get you a few extra sales. Most people who go to yard sales shop with cash, but occasionally people see something and don’t have enough cash. Having the option to take credit cards made us about $200 at one of the sales, so definitely something to consider. Square does take a small percentage per transaction, but it may be worth it to make that extra money.
9. Have a Donations Jar
Wherever you set up a table to take money, have a jar labeled for donations. Occasionally, someone may not buy something but will give a donation. Also, people may make a purchase, and put their change in the donation jar. We didn’t get many donations, but every bit helps!
10. Send Thank You Notes
A successful yard sale fundraiser takes a village, so make sure you thank everyone who helped and donated. We sent messages and posted on social media, and send some hand written notes as well. The entire adoption process, especially the fundraising, takes so much work so it’s nice to take the time to appreciate all of your support.